Alt+Number is not used by any web browser
It's used by FireFox. Not that I'm voicing for or against it, just saying.
That isn't the case on Windows. Did you get confused between Alt and Ctrl perhaps?
Firefox-3.5.6. I do not get confused.
The developers of Firefox (indeed, the whole reason the project was started) was to create a UI which is intuitive by default and matches the conventions of each operating system it runs on.
They did not match keyboard shortcut conventions, amongst other reasons because there are so few standard keyboard shortcuts; ctrl+z, F1, and barely a handful of others.
What I am suggesting is that alt+left/right switches to the left/right tab, along with ctrl+pgup/pgdn which will do the same thing. Users of different keyboards will favor one or the other.
Is there any precedent for that? How is it better than using standard keyboard shortcuts?
Yes, you naturally have your left hand (especially thumb) above the alt/ctrl keys, and your right above the arrow keys. These shortcuts are very easy to hit on the QWERTY keyboard layout, and they don't conflict with popular window manager shortcuts nor other shortcuts. Also, they're used in several other programs, something which I believe you enjoy mentioning but I don't think matters much at all :] (I'm not saying its a bad thing and I'm not saying that 'standards' are generally bad).
How is it better than the de-facto standard shortcuts in popular web browsers?
1- There is no 'standard'. They change from browser to browser, from version to version, from OS to OS. Also, being more popular does not a make a standard good.
2- There is no 'standard'. Even a single version often has 2 shortcuts for one thing.
3- FF previous tab: CTRL+SHIFT+TAB? hmm. I don't have to break my wrists at all.
4- Opera last used tab: CTRL+SHIFT+TAB? Sounds familiar.
5- Opera switch to previous tab on tab bar: CTRL+SHIFT+F6... do that using 1 hand. Do that using 2 hands even.
6- FF previous tab: CTRL+PGUP. Opera previous tab: ALT+PGUP. See point 1.
So lets ditch this failed 'standards' notion. Just do what is easiest and least likely to cause trouble for people of different operating systems, with different programs running in the background (yes we can't compensate for everything and yes there will be many other programs that choose to intercept keys that they should leave alone, too bad) and using different keyboard layouts (even differences within QWERTY are substantial).
Ctrl+PageUp/Down can't be typed with just the left hand.
True, but as I wrote, I am not suggesting only 1 shortcut for that function, and also you are very likely to already have both hands hovering over those keys while typing away in GH. In fact the only time you'd use a mouse would be when double-clicking a hosted game, since tabbing to it takes too long (if still at all possible), and then its back to GTA2 with keyboard-only... perhaps something worth thinking about - eliminating the need for moving the right hand over to the mouse.
Why? It doesn't match any user interface standard in Windows.
Who gives a shit :] And here we go again with the 'standards'. mIRC, here's a monospace standard for you. PuTTY, there's another. (note that PuTTY uses Courier by default, which is the ugliest monospace font I ever saw. See below.)
the default should be a monospace font
Monospace fonts have lower reading speeds than proportional ones, too.
IRC isn't a book. True that in some tests monospace was slower then some proportional fonts. It is also true that the only few tests I found on the subject used only courier as a monospace font, and courier does suck ass. Quite unfair. Monospace fonts are just more versatile in a chat log where discussions can get technical, but don't choose one that sucks ass right out of the box.
That Outlook uses a certain font is no reason to use that font by default in GH.
How so? Outlook comes with Windows, is a well-recognised application. And, for the most part, follows the UI conventions of the platform.
So does DOS prompt. What Outlook has to do with GH still eludes me. Let's create an "options" and a "customize" item in a "tools" menu, and let's hide almost all of the toolbar icons by default because MS Office does that?
IMHO verdana is way nicer and more readable than arial, I'd still want to kick whoever wants to force me to use it in the nuts.
This is why Windows has theming and is why, ideally, GH would inherit the current theme.
I don't want GH's chat log to use my default OS/window manager font. A chat log is not an applications menu, not a toolbar, not a context menu.
Having a font selector window in every application is duplication of effort, both for the programmers and for the users.
Sure, I wouldn't be able to answer why minesweeper would require a custom font panel. Surely having a custom font panel in every application is a waste of space and time. GH is a very specific type of application with specific needs, and its 'standard' in such applications to allow users to choose their own preferred font.
Besides which, WINE lets you personally override whatever GH sets?
Probably, just as I can in Windows. Wine Is Not an Emulator. I wouldn't call forcing users to waste more than 5 seconds time changing a chat log font a good programming practice.